1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have really enjoyed my time at Mace. I worked on two really interesting projects; one being high profile. The projects were at opposite end of the project life cycle so I gained a lot of knowledge about the life cycle and the different aspects of my role. I was encouraged to go on training days, site tours and social evets to network within the wider company.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My Colleagues made a real effort to make me feel welcome and settled. I felt apart of the team and was always invited along to any team event or outing. Any team member was always grateful for any tasks carried out for them and I was always made to feel as though I was doing a good job.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The management was great. I had regular catch up meetings with my line manager to discuss how I was performing and to see what I wanted to get involved in. I was always encouraged to ask questions, even if they seemed silly. Everyone was happy to explain things to me and sit down and take me through aspects of the project. Help and guidance was always offered if and when I needed it.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The beginning of the internship was very slow moving. I was not given many things to do due so I was not very busy. Eventually things picked up and I was given things to keep me busy during the day. However, nothing was really planned out for me in advance and I was left to find things to do a lot of times.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given little responsibility but this is understandably due to being on a project for a short amount of time and taking on responsibility means then somehow handing it over when I leave. The tasks I was I was given were ad hoc tasks throughout the day. They were always different which meant that no day was the same. However, it was often minimal tasks.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
My choice of industry does not directly link to my degree, however, the client does and so I have learned a lot about the behind the scenes in political matters. It has also given me a chance to develop my excel and software skills which will benefit me hugely in my degree. Furthermore, the technical knowledge I have gained will give me the upper hand when I finish my degree.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I worked on site offices and so it is very different to head office. The atmosphere was fun and chilled. Everyone gets on really well and has a laugh. You connect well with the other companies and everybody is welcoming. Each site is different, one of which had no windows so there was no natural lighting. The other was a parliament office so the security was very high.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It was well set up and organised. There was an event in the lead up to starting for all starters to meet and to be introduced to the company. My line manager gave me a call before I started and I had regular contact with the company to keep me involved. The first day was also with every starter so you got to meet the people in your sector. The only downfall was that my first days in the office with my team were not planned and so there was no set work for me to do.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I was encouraged to do as much training as I could during my time. There are plenty of online short training sessions available but I was also able to go on a training course specific to my job. My manager was more than happy for me to go off an learn as much as I could.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There are many options available to me and the chance to get on a graduate development programme which is great. There is lots of support and encouragement to joining for future employment and a the chance to re join rather than re apply for the job is great. It is also nice to know that there will be a group of you joining who are all graduates.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a rather social scene for those who were at head office but I was a little more isolated out on site. We had a Facebook group page set up for us which allowed us to all connect. We also had a group chat for all us students so there was frequent social nights that we would all go out for.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Living was not a problem for me but socialising is expensive as it is central London ad so it is to be expected. However, you find pubs and bars that are slightly more reasonable and people start to figure where is best to go. Travel is super easy so can always go further out.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Nightlife is good, plenty of bars to go to. During summer everyone is down the pub after work or hitting the bars on Fridays. Great atmosphere around everywhere is super popular and busy.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Mace have their own foundation and so they encourage you to take a day out and take part in helping a charity out or volunteering for the day. This can all be arranged for you or you can find on yourself which the foundation will then support you with. So there is the chance to get out in the wider community. There is also the chance to go out on site tours at other sites so you get to go out for the afternoon and explore other projects.